High spore counts shut down JVS

By Jonathan Delozier - jdelozier@aimmediamidwest.com

Elevated spore counts at the Lorain County JVS caused the building to be evacuated Aug. 21 and closed through Aug. 24 while the building was cleaned and tested.

No black mold was found in the building, according to a statement from the school.

Cleanup and testing was handled by Willoughby-based Monarch Mold Solutions. Adult classes at JVS were cancelled for the remainder of the week but high school students were able to start the year Aug. 27 as scheduled with no signs of elevated spore counts.

One basement classroom, a hallway outside of that classroom, and an upper level hallway were the areas the elevated counts were found in.

Before cleanup work began, a spore count of 43,000 per cubic meter of airspace was found in the classroom while the adjacent hallway and upstairs hallway measured at 3,800 and 1,500 respectively.

After cleanup, the counts were down to 330 per cubic meter of air in the classroom, 770 in the adjacent hallway, and zero in the upstairs hallway, according to Monarch Mold Solutions president Greg Drenik.

He suspects the classroom’s carpet and a lack of ventilation over the summer while new air handlers were installed led to the high counts.

“From what I understand (air conditioning) was down for most of the summer,” Drenik said. “You have no air movement in there at all and with the kind of humidity we’ve seen outside it’s just bound to happen. With the start of school coming up, there was probably a lot of cleaning and vacuuming in (the classroom) and that puts all of this stuff in the air.”

Spore counts outside the JVS read 1,200 per cubic meter of air on the day testing was conducted, but Drenik said that’s common for this time of year and that other sites he’s tested have read much higher.

“These are common spores to find outside,” he said. “I had a 10,000 count a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland. Over 26 years doing this, I’ve seen 15,000 counts in July and August. It’s all relative. You just don’t want a higher number inside than what’s outside. It’s not an exact science or a hard number.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier